Staphylococcus aureus invades osteoblasts and is the primary cause of osteomyelitis. This study examined the ability of S. aureus to induce apoptosis in a mouse osteoblast cell line. The presence of intracellular S. aureus was demonstrated by transmission electron microscopy. Light microscopy was utilized to examine morphological changes in the osteoblasts following killing of extracellular bacteria. Cell rounding was observed, and dark centers due to condensation of chromatin were noted in cells in infected osteoblast cultures. DNA was isolated from infected osteoblast cultures, and electrophoresis revealed the laddering effect characteristic of cells undergoing apoptosis. Additionally, an in situ cell death detection assay was utilized to label apoptosis-induced DNA strand breaks. Apoptotic nuclei were present, providing further evidence that S. aureus induces apoptosis in osteoblasts.